World Triathlon joins Laureus for Body Confident Sport campaign

by on 08 Apr, 2024 06:06 • Español
World Triathlon joins Laureus for Body Confident Sport campaign

It is a shocking statistic that 40% of young women leave the sport that they love because of self-consciousness about their bodies. At a time in their lives where they experience faster physical changes than any other, the attitudes, approaches and awareness of how this impacts the way so many feel girls about their appearance are being put under the spotlight to try and reverse the worrying trend.

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s Body Confident Sport campaign is a global partnership between the Center for Appearance Research (University of West of England), Laureus Sport for Good, The Tucker Center (University of Minnesota), Dove and Nike, with the over-arching goal of producing a mindset change in all areas of sport, from athletes to coaches and beyond to society in general.

As part of the initiative, World Triathlon has been awarded a grant of GB£30,000 that will be shared between three National Federations; Great Britain, Italy and Mexico. Each will use the money to pinpoint specific areas in which they feel the most progress can be made towards helping more young women in triathlon feel that they can embrace and be emboldened by their bodies and by how amazing they are and what they can do.

World Triathlon has made athlete body-confidence a mandatory element of its Coach Revalidation process to ensure coaches around the world are mindful of the language they use and the culture that they control within training groups and to be aware of what young women may be thinking and feeling.

“It is impossible to understate the importance of the Laureus campaign for the good of women, for sport and for triathlon,” said World Triathlon President Marisol Casado. “Triathlon is an ‘everyday is a tri-suit day’ sport, where triathletes spend most of their time in swimwear and/or a trisuit. If the statistics are shocking for the numbers of talented young women feeling more comfortable leaving all their hard work and training behind, then the main reason why is even more troubling. We have to work with these brilliant people at every step of their development to ensure they are as comfortable, happy and confident as they need to be to fulfil their potential. It is something that starts at training, impacts on racing and needs to permeate every part of our culture. I look forward to seeing the ways in which our friends at the British, Italian and Mexican Federations are able to create initiatives that will bring meaningful mindset changes to reverse this trend for future generations.”

British Triathlon’s Michelle Hayden, Head of Coaching
“British Triathlon is delighted to be working with World Triathlon and the Italian Triathlon and Triathlon Mexico National Federations to raise awareness of body confidence in young females in our sport. We are delighted to be working with coaches and female participants in our sport to raise awareness of body image and confidence. We want to empower coaches and young women in triathlon to celebrate the great things active bodies can achieve. We want to use the power of swim, bike, run and Triathlon to make our sport more accessible and an enjoyable place for women and girls to be active - simultaneously supporting our coaches to develop their knowledge and understanding.”

Triathlon Mexico’s Claudia Beristain, Project Lead
“Participating in the Body Confident Sport program for coaches and for girls aged 11-17 in triathlon is important because it promotes a healthy and balanced approach to physical activity, focusing on building confidence, self-esteem, and a positive body image. It provides coaches and girls with the necessary guidance and support to develop skills in triathlon coaching while prioritising the overall wellbeing and mental health of the participants. By adhering to this program, girls can cultivate a lifelong enjoyment of sport, enhance their physical fitness, and foster a resilient mindset, setting them up for success both on and off the racecourse. Mexico is committed to educating coaches that are Body Confident competent to create a better coaching culture in our country.”

Italian Triathlon Federation’s Riccardo Giubilei, President
“We are honoured in being selected by World Triathlon and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to partake in this important two-year project, together with two other important Federations: Great Britain and Mexico. The topic discussed is of fundamental importance, and precisely for this reason, the Italian Triathlon Federation places among its objectives the desire to work with coaches to promote an inclusive environment for all young people, where everyone has the same opportunities to participate and feel comfortable approaching physical activities. Thanks to this program we can implement the training that we provide coaches to increase their competence and necessary skills, hence promoting a positive body image culture so that athletes can gain greater confidence in relation to their bodies during sporting activities.”

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